[Excerpt] How have recruitment practices changed in response to the tight labor market pressures? A few brief examples will suffice for the present. Cisco Systems, a rapidly growing California-based networking firm, has replaced virtually all of its prior recruitment advertising (for example, newspaper, radio, etc.) with the Internet-based recruiting programs that are specially targeted to the desired applicant population. Based on their own market research that most job-related web entries are received from employed candidates searching the Internet during work hours, Cisco provides job browsers easy to access fake computer screens in case a boss or co-worker enters the room unexpectedly. However, web-based recruiting is not Cisco's only foray into non-traditional recruitment sources. The firm routinely acquires five to six new companies per year in order to fuel its rapid growth with the proven and talented employees of other firms. Recognizing that acquisitions in and of themselves do nothing to prevent valued talent from walking out the door when another employer takes over, Cisco has identified a method of orientation, accommodation, and enculturation that allows them to retain virtually the entire technical staffs of its acquisitions (Nakache, 1997). Another example of innovative recruitment can be found in the practices of the well-known McKinsey Consulting Group. In response to the chronically tight consulting market, McKinsey now places "open" advertisements in international business publications, such as The Economist (1997). The ads state that in order to obtain the "right candidate" (whose characteristics are described in detail in the ad), McKinsey will now accommodate the candidate's own availability, rather than its own timetable for recruitment.
The previous examples encourage one to ask whether organizations struggling to revamp their recruitment programs can receive much assistance from the existing conceptual and empirical recruitment literature. Specifically, how closely do newly evolving recruitment practices follow the body of existing? What is known about the strategic impact that recruiting has on organizations as entities? Looking toward the future, what can be done to bring the domains of recruitment research and practice closer together? These are some of the questions addressed in this chapter.